Police seek help from community in identifying 3 suspects.
D.C. police are seeking help from the public in identifying three male suspects who reportedly assaulted two gay men early Sunday morning while shouting anti-gay slurs in the heart of the city’s U Street, N.W. entertainment district.
A police statement says officers from the Third Police District responded to the 2000 block of 10th St., N.W. at about 12:30 a.m. Sunday, April 15, in response to a report of an aggravated assault.
The 2000 block of 10th Street is located between U Street and V Street, N.W., where people park their cars when patronizing the many bars and restaurants along U Street and nearby Florida Avenue. Four gay bars are located in that area.
“Although in the early stages, the investigation has revealed that three suspects assaulted two adult males,” the police statement says. “During the assault, the suspects yelled homophobic slurs,” it says. “The victims were taken to an area hospital for non-life threatening injuries.”
The statement adds, “The Metropolitan Police Department is investigating this offense as potentially being motivated by hate or bias.”
People who know the two victims have identified them in social media postings, which have reported one of the victims suffered a broken nose and broken teeth and the other suffered a concussion and had been knocked unconscious. Others posting on social media have said the attack occurred at a location a few blocks away from the location reported by police.
A police report on the incident, which was released on Monday, says the assault occurred at the intersection of U Street and Vermont Avenue, N.W. It says the closest structure to where the assault took place is the Duke Ellington School of the Arts at 2001 10th St., N.W.
“Victim 1 reported that he had been knocked unconscious as a result of the assault,” the report says. “Victim 2 suffered a broken nose and a chipped tooth,” according to the report.
One law enforcement source familiar with the incident said the police statement disclosing the location of the incident was based on interviews with the victims.
Friends identified the victims as D.C. residents Michael Creason and Zack Link, both of whom, according to friends, work as sign language interpreters. Both men are said to be in their 20s.
The police statement, a copy of which a police spokesperson sent to the Washington Blade, says the suspects in the attack “were described as three black males, 20-25 years of age.”
The statement gives these additional descriptions of the suspects: “Suspect (1) described as wearing a white tank top and bald head, Suspect (2) described as wearing a red shirt, Suspect (3) described as having blond highlighted hair.”
Police are asking anyone with information about the incident to call 202-727-9099, or to text a tip to 50411.